Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Clean Up This Spring

April is here which means it is official - despite the relentless gale force winds and rain, Spring has officially sprung!  As we begin to draw a thick line under the last quarter, it’s time to start actioning some of our plans for the next.

Time for a tidy up
As we all know, aside from chocolate, traditionally Spring is a time for new beginnings, sweeping away the cobwebs and starting a-fresh.  The same can be said for your facility:  take a look around - are things up to scratch?

Unless the answer was a resounding yes, it is definitely time to put some plans in place to do something about it.

Why do I need my room clinically cleaned?
Modern day computer equipment is increasingly sensitive to environmental conditions.  In fact, recent studies have shown that 75% of storage and hardware failures are caused by environmental factors.

Concerns include:
·        Room temperature
·        Humidity
·        Carbon dust
·        Concrete dust
·        Rust
The build-up of dust can threaten to have a major impact on your computer room’s operation and efficiency; an understanding of the causes and effects of possible contaminants in the environment - on the sensitive equipment housed within your facility - is vital for ensuring the continuity of the working practices.

Causes of contamination

1.      Gases – chlorine, hydrogen sulphide and sulphur dioxide are all examples of gaseous contaminants that act as reducing agents and when combined with water form weak acids and can corrode electronic equipment.

2.      Hydrocarbons – these airborne contaminants such as petroleum, paraffin and lubricating oils are a result of incomplete combustion of fossil fuels and oxidation of plastics and rubbers. These substances are highly flammable and can bring about the deterioration of electrical components.  Thankfully however these contaminants can be combatted by putting an efficient air filtering system in place.

3.      Dust particles – as aforementioned, varying dust particles can exist in your computer room and can be abrasive, corrosive, flammable or absorb moisture.
·        Carbon dust – almost unavoidable, carbon dust can occur from exhaust fumes, tobacco smoke or even printer toner and these contaminants sneak their way into your facility via personnels’ clothing or open doorways. These particles can be conductive, combustible and act as a reduction agent.
·        Construction debris – created during construction, remodelling work and general erosion.  These particles are highly abrasive and can cause damage to equipment through close contact.
·        Humans – aside from bringing in external contaminants, humans can leave their own organic fibres behind after entering the computer room.  Shockingly humans shed 1 million skin cells within just 40 minutes, not to mention the stray fibres coming from clothing or hair loss.  Unfortunately also unavoidable, these fibres clog equipment and pose fire risks.
·        Paper dust – created by the movement of paper and packaging within the room. Highly flammable, the paper dust is attracted to the magnetic field generated by the electronic equipment.

What constitutes clinically clean?
A clinically clean environment can benefit your organisation by increasing your computer room’s reliability; reduce failure rate and, in turn, generate greater productivity.
In simple terms: in order for a facility to be ‘clinically clean’ this involves the removal of all the above contaminants from the room environment.  All areas of the room, including sub-floor, need to be addressed with antistatic foam, lint free cloths and water-free antibacterial cleaning products.

Maintaining the Clean
After an internal audit and ‘deep clean’, a process of on-going preventative cleaning is recommended however there are also small things one can do to minimise the contaminants getting back in.   One effortless and cost-effective solution, and often the simpler the better, is to simply cover each foot that enters the computer room with one-time use disposable shoes.  Fashion forward - perhaps not – but, nevertheless, the disposable shoes are a positive step in the right direction (no pun intended!) in helping to create a dust-free environment.

Guest blog by Ashleigh Soppet, Marketing Manager, www.2bm.co.uk



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